WaterSense announces plans for flushometer valve specification

To help commercial facilities become more water-efficient, WaterSense has issued its Notice of Intent to develop a specification for flushometer-valve toilets.

WASHINGTON — To help commercial facilities become more water-efficient, WaterSense has issued its Notice of Intent (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/final-flushometer-valve-noi-508.pdf) to develop a specification for flushometer-valve toilets. Many of the older flushometer-valve toilets currently installed use 3.5 gallons per flush — far more water than the federal standard of 1.6-gpf. With many of these models reaching the end of their useful life, replacing them with more efficient models could result in significant water savings. If commercial facilities nationwide replaced all of their older, inefficient and standard flushometer-valve toilets with high-efficiency versions, it would save an estimated 56 billion gallons of water per year.

Due to increased demands for improved toilet performance and a growing emphasis on water efficiency, manufacturers are producing high-efficiency flushometer-valve toilets. These toilets are designed to use no more than 1.28-gpf — a 20% water savings over standard 1.6-gpf toilets. In the future, EPA's specification will ensure that all flushometer-valve toilets that earn the WaterSense label will perform well while still saving water.

EPA pointed out that a recently completed drainline carry study performed by the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition had allayed fears about drainline blockages with 1.28-gpf toilets.

In the Notice of Intent, EPA wrote, “… WaterSense has preliminarily identified the water efficiency and performance criteria it intends to consider in developing a draft specification for flushometer-valve toilets. While the major criteria have been identified, some technical points require further consideration and assessment before a draft specification can be developed. To establish and better define these criteria, EPA is requesting supporting information and data from all interested parties (e.g., researchers, manufacturers, testing laboratories, water utilities, water-efficiency organizations) on the topics discussed in this NOI. All interested parties are encouraged to submit written information and comments regarding any of the concepts or issues presented in this NOI to [email protected] Comments and information on the issues presented in this NOI are welcome and will be taken into consideration as WaterSense develops a draft specification for flushometer-valve toilets.”

Interested parties are invited to provide written comments on WaterSense's NOI to label flushometer-valve toilets. Any comments or suggestions should be emailed to [email protected]

Additionally, on Sept. 12, 2013, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern, EPA will host a teleconference and webinar with stakeholders to discuss the NOI. Call-in and other meeting information will be emailed upon registering. Meeting materials will be sent to registered participants via email closer to the meeting date. Please register if you are interested in attending this meeting.

Manufacturers, retailers or distributors interested in partnering with WaterSense or finding out more about the development of flushometer–valve toilet specification should review the flushometer–valve toilet NOI for more information, or e-mail the agency through http://www.epa.gov/watersense/contact_us.html with questions or comments.

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